Are You Running a Restaurant or a Business?

Listen in to the Restaurant Rockstar podcast.We sat down with restaurant rockstar Roger Beaudoin to talk about how little time operators have, the rising cost of food and labor, and how restaurants can combat both by applying business tactics to their restaurant. Listen to the podcast or watch it here and then read the in-depth article below.

When you own and operate restaurants you need to give yourself every advantage. And perhaps the greatest advantage is systems. Executing effective systems makes all the difference between succeeding or becoming a part of a restaurant failure statistic.

Many restaurant owners are caught up in the thousands of details of running their restaurants… putting out perfect food, doing inventory, dealing with staff who just called in sick… it’s a challenge to find any more time.

It seems just too overwhelming or difficult to try to put systems in place.

But there’s nothing more important than systems. Deciding to work on your business now will actually allow you to decide how you work in your business later.

It takes work up front to execute systems, but this concept can lead to freeing up more of your time and bringing in more money.

Systems explode sales, build dream-team staff members, and create powerful brands that crush the competition.

Whether you’d like to sell your operation sometime in the future, or just maximize its investment value and continue to expand, systems are the key to your restaurant’s fate and future.

Seeing Your Restaurant As A Business


Even if you have a busy restaurant, you still may not be making enough money. So many owners and managers are tied to their operations, working day and night but wondering why their bank account isn’t growing. They’re not sure what to do to fix this, either.

The key lies in a simple question: What business are you in and what products are you selling?

It’s not a trick question, but the answer may surprise you. The business and products are not selling food and drink. If you own or manage restaurants, your business is running a business and your products are entertainment and consistency.

The restaurant failure rate is legendary because operators aren’t focused on the single most important concept to being successful…

Are you running a restaurant or running a business?

4 Strategies That Will Help You Run Your Restaurant As a Business


There are 4 steps to putting systems in place.

Step 1: Hire for attitude over prior experience. Those who desire to serve the public will help you more than those who’ve been in the industry a long time, but aren’t willing to work hard. Executing recognition and rewards, and treating staff like family will dramatically reduce turnover and build your dream team. In addition, train your staff to notice… to see what the guest sees before they see it and then empower them to fix it.

Step 2: Now that you’ve got a great staff, you need to train them to serve and sell. Think of it this way… new customers come into your restaurant every day – maybe they drove by or someone told them to stop in. Either way, they probably know absolutely nothing about your concept, your menu, and what makes your restaurant unique.

Here’s where your dream team comes in. You’ve trained them to know your menu… they should be able to talk about what makes your restaurant stand apart from the competition and best of all, they can suggest what customers might enjoy. Train them to recognize opportunities at every table, every time. Your entire FOH team can do this, from hosts to bussers to servers.

Step 3: You have a great team and they’re selling, but what should they sell? Your most profitable menu items, of course. To find this out, stay on top of your food spend by category, item and supplier. Know how much you’re spending on food compared to your sales. Cost out every menu item for maximum profit and then know which are your most popular sellers.

Not everyone is a numbers person, but the third most powerful system is all about the numbers. Taking regular inventory, monitoring your prime costs, and finding efficiencies across your operation are the foundation of these systems.

Step 4: Lastly, lets talk marketing. Many restaurants dump tons of money out the window on traditional marketing (radio, print, TV). But it’s difficult to track effectiveness and fails to leverage a restaurant’s most valuable resource… its own staff.

Leverage the power of internal marketing because it’s far less expensive to reach and market to your existing customer than it is to continually find new customers. Internal marketing is everything you can do to market to your customer within the four walls of your restaurant. Let your dream team staff and faithful customers be your marketing ambassadors who sing your restaurant’s praises. Dazzle your customers and watch them spread the word.

It’s called buzz and it’s free… absolutely free.

Roger Beaudoin is a restaurant consultant who specializes in restaurant systems. You can find out more about how he’s helping restaurants at

Orderly is the #1 restaurant app for ordering, invoicing and inventory. Download the Snap App, the free paperless invoicing app for restaurants and see how it can help you put systems in place for running your business.

Ben BaggettRestaurant Rockstars Podcast Episode #26